One fine morning, I was collecting my stuff and wanted to leave before Dolly came because something or the other would happen to delay me. I found everything but my lucky pen. We remembered that Dolly was at home when I had placed my pen on the bed the previous day and had gone to attend the phone. We looked everywhere but we did not find it. It had to be Dolly’s mischief. But we could not say that she would have taken it home because her mother did not allow her brother and her to bring anybody else’s stuff home. Surely she would not have taken it home.
We did not know what had happened to the pen. At that time the radio sang the Govinda song, Main Laila Laila chillaoonga kurta fadke… Right then, I held my kurta and sang Main Dolly Dolly chillaoongi kurta fadke… I still looked for the pen at every place inside the home. Dolly entered our home. There was silence at home for a few seconds. We were looking at each other thinking what to do. I again began looking for the pen.
Casually, Mom asked Dolly, “Gayatri Didi is looking for her pen. She seems to have lost it.”
Before Mom could ask anything else, she replied, “Maine chambhalke rakha hai.”
She went to my bed, lifted the pillow and picked up the pen to give me. She also said, “Mereko aake poochna thana. Time basht kiya.”
This was her bouncer for today.
Mom said, “Gayatri Didi was singing – Main Dolly Dolly chillaoongi kurta fadke…”
She immediately caught me and said, “Kurta phado phir doongi.”
This was her second bouncer for the day. I held my kurta and danced a little. I even lifted her up and danced a little.
Dolly gave the pen to me and said, “Chambhalke rakho. Phirche khona nahin.”
She was talking as if I had lost the pen! I hugged her and left for my work.
Next, it was my sister’s turn. She was playing with Dolly and Mom had gone to make coffee and breakfast for her.
Right then, there was a sound of torrak torrak torrak from outside. Dolly said to my sister holding her hand in front of her mouth, “Paddiwala aaya!”
My sister did not understand what it was. Mom told them innocently, “He is the balloon vendor.”
Dolly said slowly, “Woh beloon mein paddi (fart) bharke bechta hai!”
My sister asked, “Paddi kya hota hai? Aur paddi kaise bharte hain?”
Dolly asked, “Paddi nahin maloom?”
Mom also asked “Paddi kaise bharte hain?”
Dolly replied, “Aane kabhi paddi nahin mara? Aako paddi nahin maloom? Peeche rakkhe bharta hoga.”
Dolly had a different vocabulary than us. When she said aako or aane, she meant aapko or aapne. Similarly, she said ooko instead of usko, eeko instead of isko and kiko instead of kisko, etc.
Mom and sister did not know what to say.
When Mom asked, “Who told you?”
She replied that all children knew this.
When Mom went to leave Dolly at her home, she asked her mother about what Dolly had said. Her mother said that children place the broken balloons in their mouth to blow them again. That is why some older people had told them this way.
To be continued…